Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2018 finalist
School construction has received quite a lot of bad press recently. Many schools and daycare centres damaged by moisture have been decommissioned or even pulled down before the end of their useful service life. As a result, there is a need for new construction in numerous localities.
Aside from physical health, buildings also affect our psychological energy levels. The architecture of schools and daycare centres shape the worldview of entire age groups by providing a framework in which children – and their educators – work on a daily basis. This applies to both large and impressive urban sub-centres (in which role many schools operate today) and smaller buildings.
The Tuupala elementary and preschool in Kuhmo, designed by Karsikas Architects incorporation with Alt Architects, is a fine example of this type of practical construction. The building consists of simple, cube-shaped, wood-clad masses and outbuildings. The serial spaces created by these structures offer pleasant, beautifully demarcated areas for pre-school children and elementary school pupils.
In many parts of the building, the wooden surface of the locally produced CLT units is left exposed. The rooms are grouped around cosy halls. The high-ceilinged main lobby with its staircase and abundant natural light is finely executed. Carefully thought-out architecture combined with excellent acoustics creates a memorable, cosy, multipurpose space of varying scale that provides a nice backdrop for daily activities.
Source: Finlandia Prize jury report